Pranab comfortably placed in Prez race
New Delhi: It is now just a matter of gathering votes worth around 25,000 for Pranab Mukherjee to sail home safely in the Presidential polls with Samajwadi Party and BSP jumping onto the `support Pranab da` bandwagon.
The electoral college for the July 19 poll is made up of 4,896 members – 776 MPs and 4,120 MLAs – who have a vote value of 10.98 lakh votes. If all the votes are polled, a candidate who gets more than 5,49,442 votes will be declared the winner.
Mukherjee, the UPA choice for the President`s post, has already garnered the support of UPA allies, SP and BSP which has a total vote value of 5.24 lakh in an electoral college with a vote value of 10.98 lakh.
On its own, UPA has a vote value of 4.12 lakh after deducting TMC`s 48,049. But the addition of 1.12 lakh vote value of SP (68,812) and BSP (43,349) will take the vote value of UPA to 5.24 lakh. This will leave the ruling UPA with a slight deficit of around 25,000 vote value, assuming all other parties are ranged against the UPA candidate.
The BJP-led NDA has a vote value of 3.04 lakh while the Left parties account for over 51,000 vote value. Congress has already appealed to all political parties to support 77-year-old Mukherjee`s candidature.
Soon after UPA declared Mukherjee`s candidature, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh spoke to Leaders of Opposition in the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha, Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley respectively. He also called CPI leader A B Bardhan and former Prime Minister and JD (S) leader H D Devegowda.
JD(S) has a vote value of 6,138 while Jammu and Kashmir party PDP has 1,584 in its kitty. Andhra`s TRS has a vote value of 3,192.
Some constituents of NDA may also support Mukherjee and there has been tradition of opposition parties supporting ruling coalition`s candidate. In 2007, Shiv Sena (18,495 vote value) had broken away from the opposition coalition to support UPA candidate Pratibha Patil.
AIADMK and BJD, which have proposed the name of NCP leader P A Sangma, have a vote value of 36,920 and 30,125 respectively.
According to the election procedure, the returning officer will first determine the valid votes and then declare the votes needed for victory. If no candidate gets more than 50 per cent of the first preference votes, the counting will proceed to the second round during which the candidate having the lowest value of votes of first preference is excluded.
His votes are distributed among the remaining candidates according to the second preference marked on ballot papers.